The State Dining Room of the White House is decorated for the holiday season during a press preview of the White House holiday decorations (Picture: AP)
The White House has revealed that its theme this holiday season is ‘Gifts from the Heart’ and will honor frontline workers who dedicated themselves to helping others during the coronavirus pandemic.
‘As we celebrate our first holiday season in the White House, we are inspired by the Americans we have met across the country, time and again reminding us that our differences are precious and our similarities infinite,’ President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said in a joint statement on Monday.
The first lady, a longtime teacher, invited second graders from Maryland to the White House on Monday afternoon to help her unveil decorations.
The decorations are said to be inspired by people the Bidens met while traveling around the country during their first year as the first family.
The official White House Christmas tree features peace doves and ribbons with the names of all 50 states and US territories (Picture: Getty Images)
Nurses, doctors, teachers, grocery store workers and others are among those recognized in this year’s decor, which transformed the White House into a gigantic, 350-pound gingerbread village.
The Gingerbread White House also features a school, police and fire departments, gas stations, a hospital, post office, grocery store and a warehouse to honor essential workers who remained on the job during the height of the pandemic.
This year, the official White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room is covered with peace doves and ribbons listing the 50 states and territories in alphabetical order.
At least 41 Christmas trees can be spotted around the White House this year, donning over 10,000 ornaments and about 6,000 feet of ribbon. Nearly 80,000 lights were used to decorate the trees, wreaths, garlands and other holiday displays around the White House.
An ornament of a portrait of President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden hangs on a Christmas tree in the State Dining Room of the White House (Picture: Getty Images)
In previous years, the decked-out halls of the White House could be seen during public tours, which have been suspended due to the pandemic. Photos, videos and other details of the festivities at the White House can still be viewed online.
Volunteers who came to the White House to decorate came from the surrounding area this year, as opposed to previous years where volunteers have traveled to Washington DC from all across the US. It took about 100 volunteers one week to decorate.
Many social media users were quick to point out other ways this year’s White House celebration was a stark change from the past four years, which featured darker displays arranged by former First Lady Melania Trump.
The former first lady was under fire after a recording was leaked of her saying: ‘I’m working my a** off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?’
Volunteers came from the surrounding area spent the last week decorating the White House for the holiday season (Picture: Getty Images)
In past years, public tours were offered to view the White House’s holiday decor, but because of Covid-19, people can only view the decorations online (Picture: AP)
Some Twitter users last year poked fun at the bizarre red Christmas trees that the previous first lady picked out, saying they were dystopian or straight out of the Handmaid’s Tale.
One person took to Twitter to share photos of this year’s White House, saying: ‘Last year we had Melania on tape saying “Merry fucking Kreesmuz” and Biff trying to overturn the election. This year we have normal.’
It’s still unclear how the White House will be handling holiday parties and receptions this year amid rising concerns of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The East Room of the White House is decorated for the holiday season (Picture: AP)
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said there will be parties, but that they will be ‘different’ from years past.
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